Copyright 2013. Church of the Good Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Church of the Good Shepherd seeks and serve Christ in all persons, strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being. On Sunday August 25, 2019, we joined with churches around the nation to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in the Americas. A link to the message from our Presiding Bishop, as well as the prayers offered for repentance and healing, are provided below. 


https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/video/invitation-commemorate-400th-anniversary-arrival-first-enslaved-africans-americas?wvideo=9dk9rcv91p


Call to Worship, Service of Remembrance and Commitment

Presider
We gather today, as People of God, to praise God. We gather today as People of God to renew our identity as the Body of Christ. And we gather today to remember the arrival of our African brothers and sisters in chains and to repent of a legacy of enslavement, oppression, and hostility, a legacy that continues today.

Representative 1:
We gather today, as People of God, to claim and to reclaim our true identity as the Beloved children of God, regardless of our race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexuality, age, or ability. We gather today, as People of God, to proclaim that all of God’s children are Beloved children of God.

Representative 2:
We gather today, as People of God, to acknowledge and repent of the sins done against our African American brothers and sisters. We gather, as People of God, to renounce the sin of white supremacy and its many manifestations.


Representative 3:
We gather today, as People of God, to affirm our willingness to support and participate in the restoration and healing of our Beloved community. We come in good will.


Representative 4:
We gather today, as People of God, to remember our ancestors who were sold, oppressed, beaten, and killed. We gather today, as People of God, to stand as one against such evil.


Representative 5:
We gather today, as People of God, to worship God as one people. We gather today, as People of God, to seek deeper relationships with each other and to work for the Reign of God in our lives and in the lives of others.


Representative 6:
We gather today, as People of God, to worship and remember and embrace. We affirm our church community as one in spirit and purpose.


All:
We gather today, as the People of God, to remember, to repent, and to commit. Forgive us, God, of any prejudices, biases, and hatred in our hearts. Forgive us, God, for our actions. Forgive us, God, when we have failed you. And empower us to change so that we may show forth your love, a love that is from everlasting. Amen.


Litany of Remembrance and Commitment

Gracious God, we acknowledge that 20 or more of your children arrived at Jamestown in chains and were sold into forced labor.

Lord, hear us when we say: we remember and we repent.


Your children were forcibly separated, were sold at a master’s whim, and were treated as property.

Lord, hear us when we say: we remember and we repent.


After a civil war, when slavery was ended, your children continued to suffer under the failed promise of Reconstruction.

Lord, hear us when we say: we remember and we repent.


Your children lived under the harsh lash of Jim Crow laws. Your children were lynched. Your children were oppressed. Your children cried out, and those in power ignored and suppressed their cries.

Lord, hear us when we say: we remember and we repent.


Men in white robes rode the night. The sign of your Son’s death and redemption of the world was burned in front yards. Those same men who created fear in the night praised your Godly name in the bright light of Sunday morning.

Lord, hear us when we say: we remember and we repent.


Your children were forced to use separate entrances, to sit in separate sections, to be educated in separate schools. For the lie of “Separate but equal”,

Lord, hear us when we say: we remember and we repent.


Your children were excluded from wealth generation by redlining, by loss of GI Bill benefits, and by lack of access to equal education. Lord, hear us when we say: we remember and we repent.


Your children continue to face voter suppression, unequal policing of neighborhoods, and the brunt of racist systems.

Lord, hear us when we say: we remember and we repent.


We have failed to seek and serve Christ in all persons. We have not strived for justice and peace among all people. We have not respected the dignity of every human being.

Lord, hear us when we say: we remember and we repent.


Send us your Spirit to renew us and to cleanse us. Lord, in your goodness: equip us for the work of your Reign.
Empower us to dismantle racists systems which oppress and marginalize people of color.

Lord, in your goodness: equip us for the work of your Reign.


Tear down all walls of division that separate your children.

Lord, in your goodness: equip us for the work of your Reign.


Give us the courage to become the Beloved Community, a community that Jesus gave us.

Lord, in your goodness: equip us for the work of your Reign.


Transform us with your Love so that we may transform this world.

Lord, in your goodness: equip us for the work of your Reign.